Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland heads to the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, as part of a jam-packed two-day visit to the state whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar.
The governor will showcase a crime and law enforcement plan during this trip. Details of the proposals were shared first with Fox News on the eve of his Iowa arrival.
Hogan will also become the first of the potential 2024 GOP presidential contenders this cycle to visit the state fair, which has long been a must stop for White House hopefuls.
The term-limited governor’s trip to Iowa comes less than month after the candidate he was supporting in Maryland's Republican gubernatorial primary in the race to succeed him lost to a contender backed by former President Donald Trump. The race was partially framed as a proxy battle between the former president and Hogan, who’s long been a vocal Trump critic.
Kelly Schulz – a former state lawmaker who served as Maryland’s secretary of labor and secretary of commerce during Hogan’s eight years as governor – was defeated by conservative state lawmaker Dan Cox – the Trump backed anti-abortion candidate who also strongly supports the former president’s unproven claims that the 2020 presidential election was riddled with massive voter fraud and rigged.
Political prognosticators viewed Cox’s win as a political loss for Hogan, who acknowledged in a Fox News interview ahead of his Iowa trip that "it may appear to be a temporary setback."
But Hogan pointed to the roughly $2 million spent by the Democratic Governors Association ahead of the Maryland primary to run ads boosting Cox’s conservative credentials. The DGA viewed Cox as the weaker general election candidate than Schulz, as it aims to flip the governor’s office in blue state Maryland from Republican the Democratic control.
"It was unfortunate that the Democratic Governors Association kind of colluded with Trump to support a crazy person in our state that has no chance to win," Hogan argued.
But Hogan touted that "I’ve been helping candidates all across the country – people that I think deserve to be in office. We’ve won five out of the six governors races in which we’ve been involved."
And pointing to his stop on Wednesday in Omaha, Nebraska to fundraise for and hold a law enforcement roundtable with Republican Rep. Don Bacon, whom Trump had unsuccessfully targeted, Hogan noted that "I’m helping congressmen and senators across the country … that were being attacked by President Trump."
Hogan told Fox News last month during a barnstorming trip through New Hampshire – the state that for a century’s held the first presidential primary and which votes second in the nominating calendar after Iowa – that he will potentially launch a 2024 Republican presidential campaign if he sees "there’s a possible road to victory, that there’s a lane and I have an opportunity."
Read more at FOXNews.com.